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Tubeless tyres vs inner tubes

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Tubeless tyres vs inner tubes

Old 05-08-20, 07:38 AM
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rhys_t
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Tubeless tyres vs inner tubes

Currently ride vittoria pro slick inner tube tyres. Is it worth the cost of going tubeless if I need to change the wheelsets too? Are they that much faster for the average amateur or is it something only the pros would see the benefit on?

If I spent 600-800GBP on wheels I want to make sure they can take me a long way and want tubeless if they have a significantly higher ceiling than inner tubes.

Welcome any thoughts on this.
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Old 05-08-20, 07:49 AM
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I'm a big fan of road tubeless when it makes sense, but I don't think that it makes sense if you're primarily looking for rolling resistance improvements. If flats are something that you regularly have to contend with, then tubeless makes sense and the marginal gains elsewhere are a nice benefit.
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Old 05-08-20, 07:50 AM
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Originally Posted by rhys_t View Post
Currently ride vittoria pro slick inner tube tyres. Is it worth the cost of going tubeless if I need to change the wheelsets too? Are they that much faster for the average amateur or is it something only the pros would see the benefit on?

If I spent 600-800GBP on wheels I want to make sure they can take me a long way and want tubeless if they have a significantly higher ceiling than inner tubes.

Welcome any thoughts on this.
How many punctures do you get a year?

I don't think tubeless is any faster or slower than tubed tires, but you can run lower pressure without risking pinch flats(snakebites).
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Old 05-08-20, 08:13 AM
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The thing is, if you're in the market for new wheels, I can't think of many sets in that price bracket that won't be tubeless ready. There's nothing saying you have to go tubeless, you'll just have that option in the future.

If you have no present issues with frequent flats, and are perfectly content with your current wheelset, save your money. Buy a power meter. You'll get far more return on that than from any wheelset.
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Old 05-09-20, 03:33 AM
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Originally Posted by WhyFi View Post
I'm a big fan of road tubeless when it makes sense, but I don't think that it makes sense if you're primarily looking for rolling resistance improvements. If flats are something that you regularly have to contend with, then tubeless makes sense and the marginal gains elsewhere are a nice benefit.
According to Cycling Weekly testing tubeless has better rolling resistance than clinchers or tubulars. I will try to find that link.

Last edited by bruce19; 05-09-20 at 03:46 AM.
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Old 05-09-20, 03:36 AM
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Here it is:
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Old 05-09-20, 03:42 AM
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I switched from Mavic Ksyrium Elite clinchers to Mavic Kysrium Elite USTs last season. My take on the change.....tubeless is lighter as weighed on my Park digital scale....tubeless rolls easier and is more comfortable. Not one flat last season. I have rim brakes so from Competitive Cyclist the wheel set (including tires) cost me about $400. I was totally skeptical but saw a GCN vid and decided to buy one rear wheel. I was so impressed that I now have wheel sets for my Guru Sidero and CAAD12 road bikes.

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Old 05-09-20, 03:45 AM
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Originally Posted by noodle soup View Post
How many punctures do you get a year?

I don't think tubeless is any faster or slower than tubed tires, but you can run lower pressure without risking pinch flats(snakebites).
Tubeless is faster according to the vid I have posted. That's the only attempt at science that I know of and it comports with my experience.
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Old 05-09-20, 06:33 AM
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Originally Posted by bruce19 View Post
According to Cycling Weekly testing tubeless has better rolling resistance than clinchers or tubulars. I will try to find that link.
Originally Posted by bruce19 View Post
Tubeless is faster according to the vid I have posted. That's the only attempt at science that I know of and it comports with my experience.
We're talking something on the order of a few watts, best vs best. That's not the type of difference that someone is going to be able to discern with an assometer or a stopwatch and I would never recommend that someone move to tubeless with that as their primary motivation (unless it's a part of a marginal gains regimen that they're doing for ****s and giggles).
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Old 05-09-20, 07:16 AM
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Originally Posted by WhyFi View Post
I'm a big fan of road tubeless when it makes sense, but I don't think that it makes sense if you're primarily looking for rolling resistance improvements. If flats are something that you regularly have to contend with, then tubeless makes sense and the marginal gains elsewhere are a nice benefit.
What he said. I ride a lot in an urban environment with a lot of debris, especially in the winter so I run tubeless then. I may run regular wheels and tires in the summer unless I get to lazy to change. I'm pretty sure that I'll be too lazy to change this year.
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Old 05-09-20, 08:03 AM
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I have one tubeless and one tubed bike. Riding experience and Strava data donít show any discernible difference in speed. Tubeless is a smoother ride, due to lower tire pressure. And then there are flats or lack thereof. Two weeks ago I got a staple in my tubeless back tire, didnít even know until I got home and noticed tire sealant spray on the seat tube. Yesterday riding the tubed bike I got a flat from a tiny bit of glass, and of course had to stop and fix it.
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Old 05-09-20, 09:59 AM
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Originally Posted by WhyFi View Post
We're talking something on the order of a few watts, best vs best. That's not the type of difference that someone is going to be able to discern with an assometer or a stopwatch and I would never recommend that someone move to tubeless with that as their primary motivation (unless it's a part of a marginal gains regimen that they're doing for ****s and giggles).
I got a tubeless Mavic UST on a whim after seeing that GCN video. I was extremely skeptical. But, I assure you the ride and ease of spinning up are obvious. I don't know if that's true of all tubeless systems but IMO Mavic works really well. As I've said before, this is the best mod I've done to a road bike in 40 yrs. of cycling.
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Old 05-09-20, 10:12 AM
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Originally Posted by bruce19 View Post
I got a tubeless Mavic UST on a whim after seeing that GCN video. I was extremely skeptical. But, I assure you the ride and ease of spinning up are obvious. I don't know if that's true of all tubeless systems but IMO Mavic works really well. As I've said before, this is the best mod I've done to a road bike in 40 yrs. of cycling.
Then either a) you were coming from some really ****ty tires and wheels or b) you got a healthy dose of placebo. Again, I'm a big (but realistic) fan of tubeless, but there isn't a discernible seat-of-the-pants difference between comparable tubed and tubeless tires.

Or are you claiming that you could easily feel the 3w difference at 40kmph in the GCN video that you posted prior? If you are, well... you're wrong.
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Old 05-09-20, 10:45 AM
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Originally Posted by WhyFi View Post
Then either a) you were coming from some really ****ty tires and wheels or b) you got a healthy dose of placebo. Again, I'm a big (but realistic) fan of tubeless, but there isn't a discernible seat-of-the-pants difference between comparable tubed and tubeless tires.

Or are you claiming that you could easily feel the 3w difference at 40kmph in the GCN video that you posted prior? If you are, well... you're wrong.
I'll say it again. I was a total skeptic. I had no expectations. But, the cost of a rear wheel and tire was relatively minimal and GCN was very positive so I gave it a shot. I was stunned at how easy it was to spin them up and how comfortable they are. FWIW, I was riding Ksyrium Elite clinchers with Vittoria Corsa at 330 TPI. My friends in the industry say that's a decent set up. And, I liked them quite a bit. Perhaps you are just unable to discern differences. Having said that, I don't really care if others would rather pay $2,000 for a set of wheels and then add the cost of tires. Have at it.
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Old 05-09-20, 11:12 AM
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The power of suggestion ...
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Old 05-09-20, 11:19 AM
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Tubeless is faster if you're stopping to deal with a lot of flat tires. Otherwise, not really. (Technically yes the tires roll a little bit more easily, but that's so small, you lose more by cross chaining than you gain with tubeless.)

It's more comfortable because you run lower pressures, and the bike feels more planted to the ground through sharp corners.
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Old 05-09-20, 11:22 AM
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Originally Posted by bruce19 View Post
I'll say it again. I was a total skeptic. I had no expectations. But, the cost of a rear wheel and tire was relatively minimal and GCN was very positive so I gave it a shot. I was stunned at how easy it was to spin them up and how comfortable they are. FWIW, I was riding Ksyrium Elite clinchers with Vittoria Corsa at 330 TPI. My friends in the industry say that's a decent set up. And, I liked them quite a bit. Perhaps you are just unable to discern differences. Having said that, I don't really care if others would rather pay $2,000 for a set of wheels and then add the cost of tires. Have at it.
So you felt the 3w difference and had only changed one of your 2 wheels to tubeless?
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Old 05-09-20, 11:31 AM
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I think maybe if you've never ridden with a power meter, you don't have much context for what 3w means?

I don't know if that's it, we talk about droping the hamer and dialing it up to 400w, so you'd think it would at least be obvious that 3w isn't much.
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Old 05-09-20, 11:41 AM
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Originally Posted by bruce19 View Post
Tubeless is faster according to the vid I have posted. That's the only attempt at science that I know of and it comports with my experience.
​​​​​​There's a site called rolling resistance that measures this on a drum in controlled conditions.
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Old 05-09-20, 12:41 PM
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Originally Posted by bruce19 View Post
Perhaps you are just unable to discern differences.
You are 100% correct.

...and you can't, either.
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Old 05-09-20, 01:05 PM
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Originally Posted by WhyFi View Post
You are 100% correct.

...and you can't, either.
Your arrogance is impressive.
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Old 05-09-20, 01:16 PM
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When I first went tubeless, I felt/perceived a huge difference too. I didn't just take the tubes out, I went from mediocre tires to great ones, and good wheels to great ones. The improvement from all three of those changes was big enough to notice. One day I got a bad puncture, and had to use a tube to get home. Couldn't feel a difference.

@WhyFi isn't being arrogant, he's being honest. If you think you're the one human alive who can feel a 1% savings in energy use while the rest of us are just automatons, well, that's maybe a little arrogant too.

Finally, the placebo effect is real. Not just in medicine, feeling like you have better gear can make you try harder. If you use a power meter you can see what's going on, otherwise, well, humans are amazing but we're not that sensitive to very small changes.
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Old 05-09-20, 01:31 PM
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Originally Posted by Seattle Forrest View Post
If you use a power meter you can see what's going on, otherwise, well, humans are amazing but we're not that sensitive to very small changes.
And even if you do have a power meter, it would take a *lot* to tease 3w out of the noise. I don't know how many forum members outside of RChung would be able to do that - maybe a few? Seat of the pants, though? Not a human around.
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Old 05-09-20, 01:50 PM
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Well, why then do people buy wheel sets that are 200-300 g. lighter than what they have? Because they can't tell the difference? And, they spend $2,000. to do that? Has anyone here ever modded their bike with a lighter wheel set?
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Old 05-09-20, 01:54 PM
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Originally Posted by Seattle Forrest View Post
If you think you're the one human alive who can feel a 1% savings in energy use while the rest of us are just automatons, well, that's maybe a little arrogant too.
I know people who have noticed a difference, so no I don't think I'm the only one. FWIW, some of them have extensive experience as LBS owners, reps for the industry and racers. Your experience may be different. But, that doesn't mean I think you are delusional.
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